Frequently Asked Questions About Plumbing
From clogged sink drains and running toilets to clanking water heaters, the Advanced Comfort Systems team has answers to your most common plumbing questions:
Why does my kitchen sink drain plug up easily and often?
Kitchen sinks can clog for several reasons, such as old, poorly installed, or undersized piping. Most often, clogs have more to do with what you put down the drain. Keep items like oily foods and coffee grounds out of your drains, as they build up over time. Also, use your garbage disposal sparingly for small scraps, but toss or compost things like potato skins, banana peels, and egg shells. Even with a premium disposal, always keep water running while grinding to thoroughly flush the system.
What’s the difference between traditional and tankless water heaters?
Most homes use a traditional water heater that ranges in size from 20 to more than 80 gallons, fueled by natural gas, electricity, propane, or oil. Because they keep water in the insulated tank hot at all times, these systems consume energy around the clock. Tankless water heaters reduce energy use and utility costs by heating water as needed, and have great longevity—up to 20 years—if you do routine service.
Why does my water heater sound like an old coffee maker?
Over time, lime deposits can build up and form a thin layer on the bottom of the water heater. When the burner fires to warm your water, the steam it produces breaks that layer. Eventually, the cycle of water turning to steam and jostling the lime deposits begins to sound like an old coffee percolator. Don’t panic but know this means your water heater is aging and will soon need to be replaced.
What’s the benefit of installing a water softener?
Hard water contains dissolved and/or minute particles of minerals like calcium and magnesium. Residue of these minerals builds up in pipes, filters, and appliances and also leaves a film on your skin, glasses, and more. Water softeners remove these minerals to improve the feel, taste, color, and odor of your water. Even better are metered water softeners that only treat water on demand versus a traditional softener that runs every three days. Every time your system doesn’t needlessly regenerate, you save about 80 gallons of water and several pounds of salt.
My garbage disposal is jammed—how can I fix it?
Look for a small opening on the bottom, insert an Allen wrench into it, and turn it to move the blades and help free the jam. If that doesn’t work, call us to schedule a repair—further tampering with it can seriously damage the disposal’s motor.
What causes a dripping faucet?
A leaky faucet usually means a mechanism inside the faucet needs to be replaced or repaired, which is typically a simple and inexpensive fix. In fact, you can prevent some drips by going easy on your faucets—turning them on and off gently helps washers last longer.
Why does my toilet keep running? Do I need to have it repaired?
If your tank and bowl are continually refilling, it’s like flushing money down the drain (literally). Leaky, running toilets can add up to $100 a year to your water bill. If it’s something simple, like the float or chain getting caught up and leaving the flapper open, jiggling the handle can be a quick fix. If running continues, call a plumber who can offer a permanent solution.
What can I do about the low water pressure in my home?
Low water pressure can be caused by a malfunctioning shut-off valve, a pinched water line, or mineral deposits that have collected in older, galvanized pipes. You’ll need a licensed plumber to determine the cause and restore pressure.
Are energy-saving plumbing products like low-flow showers worth the investment?
Absolutely. For instance, older toilets use as much as six gallons of water per flush, while new energy-efficient models use less than two. Showerheads typically have a flow rate of two-and-a-half gallons per minute—their energy-saving counterparts can reduce that amount by more than half, without sacrificing performance. Save thousands of gallons of water and hundreds of dollars just by replacing old equipment!
Will you install an item I bought at the store or online?
Unfortunately, we prefer that you purchase products through us. This policy helps us guarantee a consistently high level of service, reliability, and value to customers like you.
Still Have Questions About Plumbing, Water Service, and Comfort Systems?
The experts at Advanced Comfort have all your plumbing, heating, air conditioning, and indoor air quality answers—contact us today!